Mom and Dad mean everything to me
Text to photo: The most important: Mom Natalia and Dad Igor are the most important people in Alexander’s life. He often visits them at Nesodden.
Interview in the Norwegian weekly celebrity magazine “Se og Hør”, Tuesday 3.9.2019. Text: L.C.Andersen Lofstad. Photo: Espen Solli and private. Translated by Jorunn Ekre, revision by Anni Jowett.
After he broke up with his girlfriend Julie, Alexander Rybak lives alone in his dream apartment at Aker Brygge.
As a kid Alexander Rybak walked across Aker Brygge on his way to practice. And thought: One day!
– Yes, one day. I remember I looked up at those amazing apartments while fantasising about one day living here. It’s a dream come true, Alexander Rybak (33) tells “Se og Hør”.
The family lived in Nesodden and on the way to violin practice at Barratt Due Music Institute Alexander passed the luxurious apartments.
– Almost daily I took the Nesodden ferry to Aker Brygge and the bus further on from the other side of the pier. It was easy to daydream, says the popular entertainer.
The “Fairytale” adventure
This year it’s ten years since he made Eurovision history with “Fairytale”, and since then everything has been an adventure. Alexander has travelled the world, sold lots of albums and participated in big theatre plays and movies.
And he could afford to follow his dream and buy an apartment at Aker Brygge.
-I bought it nine years ago, but I travel so much I feel I haven’t lived here this long. For instance I recently discovered I had a storage room in the basement here. And only this summer I have gone for a swim in the pool on the roof of the building, says the 33 year old.
Film and TV games
The apartment cost 5 million NOK in 2010, and is about 90 square metres. Living room, kitchen, two bathrooms and two bedrooms where one functions as an office and home studio for the Eurovision legend.
– I like it a lot here. But that doesn’t take too much effort. As long as I can play TV-games, watch movies and series and football with my buddies, I enjoy it. I travel so much my wardrobe is mostly in my suitcase, Alexander chuckles.
On November 28 the family musical about Trolle premiers in Kristiansand, which is based on Alexander’s music and book “Trolle og den magiske fela”. Alexander himself plays the lead role.
– I really look forward to that. I have always dreamed of creating a musical. This is very pleasurable.
But everything hasn’t all been pleasant for the outstanding entertainer. The success has had its price. He has paid a price for the high tempo and expectations and Alexander is open about the physical and psychological consequences. At times he’s in a lot of pain.
Earlier I tried to deny the pain, I didn’t want to realise I was in pain. I have found out you have to be true to yourself to handle it, there’s no use being proud and pretending to be a hero. Now I listen to my body. I stopped taking pain killers a few months ago, because it threatens to ruin me.
Broke up with his girlfriend
The pain is also the reason why his relationship with Julie Gaarud Holm (24) ended earlier this summer.
– There is nothing wrong with Julie. But I came to a point where I felt I couldn’t have anyone this close. It has to do with the physical pains. When I’m in pain, I’d rather not socialise, and least not with the people I love, says Alexander.
Met on Tinder
Julie and Alexander met through the dating app “Tinder” a little over three years ago.
In 2017 Rybak released the beautiful instrumental piece “To Julie” written for her.
– I still become happy when I see her, and we’re good friends. She is a fantastic girl who means a lot to me.
Travelled with his parents
Despite of the break up with the girlfriend, 2019 has also had some big triumphs. Not only is there the 10 year anniversary of “Fairytale”, Mom Natalia turned 60, while Dad Igor turned 65. Then the son took his parents to Disneyland in Paris.
– It was just amazing. The parades and the fire Works, a real fairy tale, says Natalia.
Relaxes at home
She works as a piano teacher and often drops in on her son on the way from town to Nesodden. But Alexander visits his childhood home even more often, where the room he had is like it’s always been.
I love my parents a lot. When I’m with them I really relax.
When I was a kid, I played both the piano and the violin, but ended up playing the latter one. That’s why Mom became foremost Mom while Dad became the teacher.
It’s his mother he talks to the most. His father is a bit more introvert.
-But Dad is a big inspiration to me. He is a man of few words, and when he does speak, it carries a lot of weight to me. And he has the world’s best humour, says Alexander and smiles. On Saturday he was a coach together with Hanne Krogh (63) in Stjernekamp on NRK1, where the genre of course was Melodi Grand Prix.